Ringing Up a New Species of Crab
A previously unknown freshwater crab has been discovered in plain sight: on sale at a pet shop in China.
The shop owner led scientists to the place where the crab had been collected, in Yingde City in northern Guangdong, a subtropical province on the coast of the South China Sea.
There, researchers found more of the animals: small, only about an inch across, with brilliant orange coloring, appealing wide-set eyes, and long slender legs, which may help explain their desirability as aquarium pets.
A previously unknown freshwater crab found in China is being called Yuebeipotamon.
A mitochondrial analysis found that the crab does not belong to any known genus; the scientists are calling it Yuebeipotamon. “Yue Bei” means northern Guangdong, and “Potamon” refers to the family of crabs to which it belongs.
The species name, calciatile, means “living on limestone.” The crabs were found scuttling about limestone hills, in streams and crevices.